Anyone in our community—member, friend, or visitor—may seek pastoral care free of charge. Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotional and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. Here at the Fellowship, it means that individuals can access a listening presence with someone who represents the community, so that their pain and gladness might be witnessed.
Pastoral care is not a substitute for mental health care, legal counsel, family mediation, social work, or even therapy. It is a purposeful, low-pressure way to connect with others and yourself, spiritually and practically, for the purpose of sacred peace, emotional growth, or problem solving about a variety of life issues.
Examples of why someone might desire pastoral care include:
-arrival of new family member – domestic violence – homelessness – personal evolution – promotion at work – gender transition – partner’s terminal diagnosis – family conflict – aging – religious growth – suicidal thoughts – illness – graduation – death of a parent – caregiver concerns – trauma and recovery – parenting challenges – and more!
Pastoral Care Providers
Associate minister Rev. Leah Hart- Landsberg is the lead person for pastoral care. Together, she, senior minister Rev. Christina Leone-Tracy, and our lay Pastoral Care Team (PCT) are available to support members and friends in times of need. PCT members are lay leaders whose talents, experience and special training enable them to meaningfully respond to those in times of joy and sorrow. They practice a ministry of presence and quiet listening, and are available for one-time or ongoing connection.
PCT members are carefully vetted and complete training that includes guidelines about open-mindedness, ethics, and confidentiality. Ministers provide ongoing accountability and support. Current PCT members’ names and photographs are on the bulletin board around the hallway from the kitchen.
Whether or not you are seeking pastoral care, you are always welcome to:
- Connect with a minister to access modest and occasional financial help swiftly and confidentially from the donation-supported Ministers’ Discretionary Fund.
- Ask director of congregational life, MarieLuna (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have our Meal Ministry offer you a home cooked dinner to help get you through a sad, busy or difficult stretch, and/or connect you with someone who might be able to offer you a ride to the Fellowship.
- Take a stone of Joy and Concern from the bowl at the back of the sanctuary and place it in our Fellowship chalice anytime the sanctuary is not in use. This can be a meaningful symbolic reminder that you are always held in the loving embrace of community.
- Request that a minister work with you to create a private ceremony, whether for a wedding or funeral/memorial service; a blessing for an occasion such as transitioning genders, moving to a new home, returning to civilian life after service in the armed forces, or retiring from the workforce; or a ritual to commemorate divorce, entering hospice care for the final life stage, offering a child up for adoption, or having an abortion.